Boosting the Next Generation: Netflix and MaLisa Foundation create Diversity and Inclusion Officer position to support film schools

  • Netflix and MaLisa Foundation launch project “Boosting the Next Generation: promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion at film schools”
  • As part of its commitment, Netflix is funding an independent I&D coordinator position for the MaLisa Foundation and six German film schools  
  • The goal is to equip the next generation of filmmakers with the skills for diverse and inclusive storytelling
  • Click here for the job description

Berlin, July 7, 2022 – With the project “Boosting the Next Generation: Promoting Diversity, Equal Opportunity and Inclusion at Film Schools”, Netflix is taking an important step to contribute to more diversity in the German-speaking film industry already in the educational stage. In order to strengthen the next generation of creatives in these topics, Netflix has created the position of a Diversity and Inclusion Officer. Through the newly created position at the MaLisa Foundation, the six state film schools, which have already made a voluntary commitment to gender equality in 2018, will be intensively supported in the implementation of their activities for more diversity, equality and inclusion.  

“Instead of launching a new initiative, we want to invest in an existing and proven initiative of German film schools. By supporting and expanding existing infrastructures, we can ensure that the important issues of diversity, equal opportunities and inclusion are holistically integrated into film school education in a timely manner,” said Sasha Bühler, Director Film EMEA at Netflix. “We are very aware of the long road ahead for all of us. That makes us all the more proud to make this commitment to support diversity and inclusion both in front of and behind the camera in a long-term and sustainable way by investing in the education of the next generation of storytellers,” she continues. 

“Through our work for gender equity in the audiovisual industry, we know how important an intersectional approach is. Thanks to the partnership with Netflix, it is now possible to support the education of the next generation of filmmakers. This collaboration between film schools in Germany is groundbreaking,” explains Maria Furtwängler, co-founder of the MaLisa Foundation.   

The joint commitment developed in 2018 by the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB), Film Academy Baden-Württemberg, Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, Munich University of Television and Film (HFF), ifs internationale filmschule köln and Cologne Academy of Media Arts (KHM) now includes further diversity dimensions in addition to gender equity. The officer* is to coordinate the planned activities of the film schools and measure their effects. The common goal is to sustainably ensure a broader and more diverse group of talented creatives in the German-speaking world by already equipping film school students with the skills for more diverse and inclusive storytelling. This also means lowering the barriers to entry into the workforce for women and people from underrepresented groups. This is because certain groups of people are significantly underrepresented in audiovisual productions in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, both on screen and behind the camera. These are not only people identifying as female, but also people of different ethnic backgrounds, people of color, people from the LGBTQIA+ community and people with disabilities.

The MaLisa Foundation is known for its effective commitment to a free and equal society. Since its founding in 2016, founders Maria and Elisabeth Furtwängler, director Karin Heisecke, and their team have worked intensively to end violence against women and girls, promote social diversity, and overcome limiting role models in media and culture. They initiate research, identify the need for action, develop solutions together with partners from the industry, and support their implementation. 

Netflix DACH’s commitment includes support for the #DiversityInFilm (#VielfaltImFilm) study by Citizens for Europe, the Into the Wild mentoring program for female filmmakers, and the event “A Path Forward – How Gender Balance and Diversity Succeed Hand in Hand,” which was organized by the BFFS actors’ union in Berlin in September 2021. 

About Netflix

Netflix is the world’s leading streaming entertainment service with 222 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries, feature films and mobile games across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.

About the MaLisa Foundation

The MaLisa Foundation was established in 2016 by Maria and Elisabeth Furtwängler. Its goal is a free and equal society. It works to end violence against women and girls, overcome restrictive role models, and promote social diversity. Its focus is on gender representation in audiovisual media and the music industry. The foundation initiates studies, promotes networking and cooperation between relevant actors, and promotes the development and implementation of joint solutions.

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